Category Archives: author blog
Wow, none of us expected 2020 to be such an unbelievably worrisome and stressful year! It’s just almost too much to comprehend sometimes that this pandemic is really happening. Who would have thought? We went from a somewhat “normal” lifestyle to a world where everyone and everything has just gone crazy. But since it is a reality, we’ve had to learn to adapt, change and just learn to deal with a life that is very different than what we wish it would be. Change can be super hard and stressful, but if we can remain positive in the midst of it all, we might even come out of this hardship as better, more resilient and caring people. At least that’s how I choose to look at everything since I can’t change it anyway.
Here are a few tips that might help you keep your sanity during this difficult time –
If you are a religious person, keep your faith strong and pray often – about everything and everyone. Keeping your mind focused, especially on helping others, will keep you grounded each day.
Try to keep your sleeping and eating patterns the same every day in order to stay as healthy as possible. Get as much sleep as you can.
Exercise – it keeps your body strong and keeps your mind healthy too.
Be sure to make time to do activities that you love – things that make you feel happy, like painting, cooking, singing, playing a musical instrument, reading, or any indoor or outdoor sport where you can be safe.
Stay connected with others so you don’t feel so isolated. We have so many different devices these days that can keep us connected. And don’t forget your neighbors or those who may need a friendly phone call. We’re all in this together, and people need each other.
Find as many ways as you can to have positive emotions – joy, gratitude, love – all the good things that you can focus on. Negativity never helped anyone.
Enjoy simple moments like sipping a cup of tea, laughing at funny moments with your children or grandchildren, playing with your pets, watching a special movie, or just having a conversation with a friend or family member.
Take whatever action that you can to achieve goals you have set for yourself. It can be one of the best antidotes to anxieties. Don’t let anything stop you from achieving what you want. There is always something to be done.
I look at it this way. There will inevitably be hardships in this life. We have to remember to be grateful in spite of the difficulties in which we find ourselves. We learn from those hard times and it makes us better and hopefully wiser people. It teaches us not to take things for granted and to really appreciate what we have.
I want to give a special “shout out” to all those who are putting themselves in the front line to help those who are sick with this virus. I appreciate all that you are doing and you are in my prayers – – THANK YOU!
I also want to commend the many many parents who are taking on the daunting task of online and home schooling their children. That has to be a difficult task along with your daily jobs and everything else you do. I feel sure that teachers are going to be appreciated much more after this! More power to you!
This too shall pass.
Tags: 2020, achieve goals, activities, anxiety, appreciation, covid, difficult times, hardship, healthy, homeschooling, isolation, online schooling, pandemic, reading, simple moments, sleep, solitaire, solitaire parke.com, stress, teachers, this too shall pass, tips to get through covid, virus
Smashwords authors are reaching out to do their part by using the power of their books to help minimize the emotional and economic hardships we all face in every country. Many of us are faced with having to stay at home and stay isolated from others in order to contain this global pandemic. So we, as authors, want to do our part by offering LARGE DISCOUNTS of 30%, 60%, or even FREE on select ebooks, starting now through April 20th.
We hope that all of you readers might find comfort and enjoyment from them and it might make your day a little brighter. If you find a favorite book during the sale, please consider reading their other books as well. There are 140,000 authors that publish at Smashwords from every country around the world. They are all your friends and neighbors.
You can find all my Smashwords’ books here: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/solitaireparke
The first book in the Dragmeir Series – The Emerald Dragon – is FREE
The first book in the Daughter of the Dark Lord Series (prequel books to Dragomeir)
Daughter of the Dark Lord, The Burning Sky) – FREE
Please spread the word, take care and stay safe!
Tags: authors give back, book discounts, book sale, Daughter of the Dark Lord, Dragomeir Series, dragon books, fantasy, fiction, free books, science fiction, smashword, solitaire parke, the dragomeir books, The Emerald Dragon, urban fantasy
Are you one of those readers who love an eerily haunting story, one that you’re terrified to keep reading and yet you can’t put it down? With Halloween at our doorstep, it’s a great time for one of those novels. For those who love the horror genre, anytime is a good time. In my horror/thriller, Vengeance of the Wolf
you are drawn into the world of dreams. It’s the story of a shocking assassin who works through dreams using a technique that seems physically impossible, to end the lives of those deemed responsible for an untimely death. Detectives are completely baffled, and just as they appear to get closer to determining the person’s identity, they are completely thrown off and their efforts seem to take them nowhere. Extremely shaken at the horrific scenes to which they are led, the question remains – why is this happening and where is it leading? Only the assassin has the answers to their questions – answers that may be too unsettling to be revealed.
If you like a good scare – check it out at my website, where you can read the first chapter! You’ll find it is available multiple places in all formats.
Do you have a favorite creepy story? Leave a comment.
I’m excited to reveal the actual title and cover of the final volume of the Prequel series to the Dragomeir Series books. They began with Daughter of the Dark Lord, Part One, The Burning Sky, and now continue with Daughter of the Dark Lord, Part Four, OUT OF THE ABYSS.
I can’t wait for you to return to the adventures of Katherine Pendragon, Daughter of the Dark Lord of the Provinces. She navigates a whole new journey with unexpected difficult decisions, old and new friendships, and of course, dragons.
After traveling through time, Katherine finds herself in Iceland where she reunites with people from her past, although they don’t all remember her. Cystic is a trusted old friend, and Tanis is destined to be of great importance in her future, belonging to an organization called the Thaumaturgists. Cystic takes her to Mt. Scartaris, the home of dragons and their stewards, where she proves herself to be a worthy leader. Queen Mother/Katherine, brings change to their chaotic and undisciplined lives to protect them from future harm. But not long after, she learns of a greater threat. Cystic has known for some time that Mt. Scartaris is an active volcano which is currently displaying critical signs. To further complicate matters, there is the abyss. Now Katherine must engage the help of the Thaumaturgists, a clan of wizards, and find a new home for her family before the eminent disaster.
I hope I’ve piqued your interest. To find the other books in the Daughter of the Dark Lord Series and the Dragomeir Series, as well as other works and fun extras, join me at www.solitaireparke.com. My books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, & various other locations listed on the website. You will also find me on Pinterest, Facebook and Goodreads.
Tags: abyss, amazon, Barnes & Noble, books about dragons, Daughter of the Dark Lord, Dragomeir, Dragomeir Series, dragon riders, dragons, Facebook, fantasy, fiction, Goodreads, Iceland, Katherine Pendragon, Mt. Scartaris, pinterest, Queen Mother/Katherine, science fiction, solitaire parke, Thaumaturgist, volcano
I am excited to tell you that the third prequel to the Daughter of the Dark Lord – INTO FUTURES PAST has been released!
It is available on my website www.solitaireparke.com under Books. Check out the first two prequels and the other books there as well as some fun extras.
Daughter of the Dark Lord, Katherine, is determined to protect the downtrodden. She’s in a race against time and space to fulfill the prophecy and become a leader unlike any other before her. Follow her failures, triumphs, and unending journeys to claim her destiny as the Queen of the Dragons in this exciting, action-filled fantasy adventure as she struggles with self-acceptance and the acceptance of the dragons and people in her world.
In Book number three, Katherine travels through time to find herself transformed into the body of a woman named Elizabeth. She struggles to make sense of this unfamiliar new reality while being pursued by forces of good and evil. Using her special abilities, will she be able to claim her calling and as Queen of the Dragons, save them all? This is her story, one of thrilling adventure and at times heart-wrenching sorrow as she seeks to fulfill her destiny.
I hope you all enjoy the journey of Katherine Pendragon as she travels – INTO FUTURES PAST!
Posted in author blog, Daughter of the Dark Lord - part one - The Burning Sky, Daughter of the Dark Lord - part two - The Alberra Project, dragon books, dragon lovers, Katherine Pendragon, sci-fi/fantasy, Uncategorized
If you want to find information on anything concerning being an author or just writing in general, there are some outstanding and informative blogs out there to help with anything and everything you might need to know, including all the things you didn’t realize you needed to know. So here are a few of them for you to check out.
Have a great September – and Happy Reading!
Tags: amazon, amazon kdp, blogging, books, Creatiave Penn, fantasy, fiction, indie authors, log-line, perfect blog post, self publishing, solitaire, solitaire parke, steps for writing, urban fantasy, writing
A prequel is a work that forms part of a back-story to the preceding work. Simply stated, it sets the stage for the existing novels and usually comes after the original work was written.
If you have followed my blog or perhaps seen my books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or various other sites then you know I have authored a succession of books called the Dragomeir Series, an urban fantasy/sci-fi saga of dragons and their riders, along with some rather unusual creatures and captivating characters.
Some readers might ask, “Why write a prequel?” I had originally planned to finish this series and then push on to other projects but began having second thoughts as I put a close on the third book in the Dragomeir Series, “Egg of the Amphitere.” One of the main characters known as Queen Mother needed to be expounded upon to give a better understanding and proper closure as to who she was and why. I realized there was a fascinating back-story to be told, and the prequel was born. The story, albeit told by Tanis Theatra (one of the dragon riders), was more about the life and times of Katherine Pendragon (Queen Mother) than anything else.
The only way to pursue that was to go back where it essentially started and tell her story as it began on the Provinces. So, the prequel series, “Daughter of the Dark Lord” was created to give credence to Queen Mother’s life, why she was so passionate about family, and to clarify her dedication to stopping the Dark Lord from invading earth. Last, but not least, it was to express how she eventually planned to liberate the Denizen people of the Provinces. While telling her story, it would also give the reader a bird’s eye view into Tanis Theatra’s beginnings, and of course the amazing dragons. To accomplish this there will also be one more installment to the original Dragomeir Series, entitled “Back from Oblivion.” This book describes Queen Mother’s ultimate objective which is exclusively detailed in the “Daughter of the Dark Lord” prequel series. There are two books available in this series now, and a third is currently being written.
All together it should delineate the complete story as first introduced by Tanis Theatra and recanted by me, Solitaire Parke. Check out my website at
to read sample chapters, discover exciting extras and purchase books at multiple locations in a variety of formats. I hope you enjoy!
Here is a question for my readers – Do you enjoy reading a prequel to a novel?
Have you written a prequel? I’d love to hear about your writing experience.
Posted in author blog, author websites, Book character names, book characters, books about dragons, Daughter of the Dark Lord - part one - The Burning Sky, Daughter of the Dark Lord - part two - The Alberra Project, Dragomeir Series, dragon books, dragon lovers, Egg of the Amphitere, fiction writing tips, Katherine Pendragon, prequel books, sci-fi/fantasy, urban fantasy
Tags: Daughter of the Dark Lord, Dragomeir Series, dragon books, dragon riders, dragons, Egg of the Amphitere, prequel books, science fiction, solitaire parke, the dragomeir books, urban fantasy, writing
Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project is finished. The last six months have been chaotic, as the holidays and life in general seemed to hijack my writing time. But The Alberra Project has progressed into editing mode and will be available in eBook and paperback very soon. The first book, Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part One – The Burning Sky, has been out for a while now and is available at a variety of locations – all of which can be reached from my website – www.solitaireparke.com.
The Daughter of the Dark Lord books are prequels to my previously published Dragomeir Series – a must read for anyone who loves dragons and other wonderful creatures. I’ve always been intrigued by dragons. They are magnificent creatures who interact in the most unique ways with their riders and fellow beings and have characteristics that are remarkably like humans at times. They’re quite brilliant and good-natured, contrary to all the bad press they’ve been given over the centuries.
Part Two continues Katherine Pendragon’s journey as she comes of age on the Provinces of Hell, a dark and often unnerving place in which to grow up. She unwittingly learns the truth about her father, a reality she has long dreaded. With her beloved dragon by her side, Katherine faces her biggest challenge yet as she struggles with the knowledge of her father and an uncertain future, both for herself and those she would free from this vile world.
Stay tuned for the forthcoming endeavors of Katherine Pendragon in
Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project.
My other books are available, along with “Extras,” at –
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein
Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks, to the abundance that is already present. In addition, behavioral and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.
It Heightens Your Quality of Life
A practice of gratitude raises your “happiness set-point” so you can remain at a higher level of happiness regardless of outside circumstances. Research shows that those who practice gratitude tend to be more creative, bounce back more quickly from adversity, have a stronger immune system, and have stronger social relationships than those who don’t practice gratitude. To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of our blessings.
Notice and Appreciate Each Day’s Gifts
We tend to take for granted the good things in our lives. Imagine losing some of the things that you take for granted, such as your home, your ability to see or hear, your ability to walk, or anything that currently gives you comfort. Then imagine getting each of these things back, one by one, and consider how grateful you would be for each and every one. Start finding joy in the small things instead of the bigger things, like getting the promotion, having a comfortable savings, getting married, or having children, and so on – before allowing yourself to feel gratitude and joy. In the face of hard times ask yourself: “What’s good about this?”, “What can I learn from this?”, and “How can I benefit from this?”
Incorporate Gratitude into your life every day
If we increase our conscious awareness of gratitude it may require that we train ourselves to think differently. This can be done by incorporating some simple exercises into our lives. For example, you might begin to keep a gratitude journal. Gratitude journals can take many forms, but one way of doing this is to simply write down one thing that you are grateful for each day.It can be something that happened that day, something you felt, or someone in your life who has made a positive impact on you.
You can also speak your expressions of gratitude. You can engage someone in a daily discussion about what you are grateful for. This might take the form of questions like, “What was the best part of your day today?”, or “What is one thing that made you feel really happy today?” This kind of discussion not only helps to increase your own awareness of all that you have to be grateful for, but can also promote positive connection and experiences in your relationship with whomever you choose to have these exchanges. Focus on the positive things, which in turn help the stressors feel less significant, and help you feel happier. Basically, gratitude promotes gratitude.
You can train yourself to notice things that you are thankful for. They can be small things: maybe you notice that your bed is very comfortable, that your lunch is tasty, that a good friend said something nice to you, etc. It is easy to take these kinds of experiences for granted and not direct our conscious awareness to them. But training yourself to notice these kinds of things and really feel grateful for them can help increase your own experience of happiness.
Be Thankful –
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
Writing fiction can be complex and multifaceted. There are countless details to consider throughout the process. There’s the initial brainstorming, the outlining, the countless hours of research, the actual writing, and the inevitable revising. As if that wasn’t enough, you still have the editing process, a monumental task of its own. All this to create what you hope will be an amazing work of fiction that readers will fall in love with. Not much to ask, right?
In doing this research, I’ve gathered an immeasurable amount of ideas concerning fiction writing. These writing tips, from countless sources, might be helpful to other writers tackling a novel by offering different viewpoints and by providing food for the creative process.
Hopefully, the tips below will help make writing that novel a little easier.
- Read more fiction than you write.
- Don’t lock yourself into one genre (in reading or writing). Even if you have a favorite genre, step outside of it occasionally.
- Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.
- Dissect and analyze stories you love from books, movies, and television to find out what works in storytelling and what doesn’t.
- Don’t write for the market. Tell the story that’s in your heart. You can make an outline before, during, or after you finish your rough draft. It will provide you with a road map, which is a powerful tool to have at your disposal.
- Some of the best fiction comes from real life. Jot down stories that interest you whether you hear them from a friend or read them in a news article.
- Real life is also a great source of inspiration for characters. Look around at your friends, family, and coworkers. Magnify and mix the strongest aspects of their personalities, and you’re on your way to crafting a cast of believable characters.
- Make your characters real through details rather than lengthy head-to-toe physical descriptions.
- The most realistic and relatable characters are flawed. Find something good about your villain and something dark in your hero’s past.
- Avoid telling readers too much about the characters. Instead, show the characters’ personalities through their actions and interactions.
- Give your characters difficult obstacles to overcome. Make them suffer. That way, when they triumph, it will be even more rewarding.
- Cultivate a distinct voice. Your narrator should not sound warm and friendly in the first few chapters and then objective and aloof in later chapters. The voice should be consistent, and its tone should complement the content of your book.
- Give careful consideration to the narrative point of view. Is the story best told in first person or third person? If you’re not sure, write a few pages in each narrative point of view to see what works best.
- Is your story moving too fast for readers or are they yawning through every paragraph? Are the love scenes too short? Are the fight scenes too long? Do you go into three pages of detail as your characters walk from point A to point B and then fly through an action sequence in a couple of short paragraphs? Pay attention to pacing!
- Infuse your story with rich themes to give it a humanistic quality. Examples of themes include sacrifice, redemption, rebirth, life and death, faith, destiny, etc. These are the big shadows that hover over your story.
- Make sure you understand that every story needs a beginning, middle, and an end.
- Use symbols and imagery to create continuity throughout your story. Think about how the White Rabbit kept popping up when Alice was adventuring through Wonderland or how the color red was used in the film American Beauty. These are subtle details that give your story great power.
- Every great story includes transformation. The characters change, the world changes, and hopefully, the reader will change too.
- Enrich your main plot with subplots. In real life, there’s a lot happening at once.
- There is a difference between a sub-plot and a tangent. Don’t go off on too many tangents.
- If you write in a genre, don’t be afraid to blur the lines. A horror story can have funny moments and a thriller can have a bit of romance.
- Make sure your setting is vivid and realistic even if you made it up.
- If you didn’t make up your setting, then do your best to get to the location and see it for yourself before you finish your manuscript. If that’s not possible, get busy researching.
- Give the readers room to think. You don’t have to tell your story in minute detail, including each minute of the plot’s timeline or all of the characters’ thoughts. Provide enough dots, and trust that the reader will be able to connect them when your story makes time jumps.
- Let the readers use their imaginations with your story’s descriptions as well. Provide a few choice details and let the readers fill in the rest of the canvas with their own colors.
- Don’t focus exclusively on storytelling at the expense of compelling language.
- Appeal to readers’ senses. Use descriptive words that engage the readers’ senses of taste, touch, sound, sight, and smell.
- Apply poetry techniques to breathe life into your prose. Use alliteration, onomatopoeia, metaphor, and other literary devices to make your sentences sing and dance.
- When rewriting, check for the following: plot holes, character inconsistencies, missing scenes, extraneous scenes, accuracy in research, and of course, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
- As you revise, ask yourself whether every paragraph, sentence, and word is essential to your story. If it’s not, you know where the delete button is.
- Before your final revisions and before you send your manuscript out to any agents or editors, find your beta readers: join a writing group, take a fiction workshop, or hire a pro.
- Do not send out your rough draft. Go through the revision process at least three times before handing it out to your beta readers. The stronger it is when you bring in editors, the stronger those editors will be able to make it.
- Have fun. If you’re not enjoying writing, then maybe it’s not for you. If you’re not enjoying fiction writing, try something else, like poetry, blogging, or screenwriting. Be willing to experiment and you’ll find your way.
Were these writing tips helpful? Got any tips to add? Leave a comment!
Check on the website for my “Dragomeir Series” (for dragon lovers) and various other genres,
And updates on my latest series – “Daughter of the Dark Lord.” Interesting EXTRAS available too!